Re: Bipedalism

J. Moore (
Wed, 31 May 95 15:32:00 -0500

I am only addressing here your contentions below.

Pa> There are two problems with this approach.

Pa> 1) Humans are vey inefficient water conservers. They sweat too copiously
Pa> and drink too little when the opportunity arises. We can't run marathons
Pa> in hot conditions without providing an adequate number of drinking
Pa> stations.

Forget marathon running for speed; that's a recent human sport and
doesn't tell us a hell of a lot about what people do when they're not
trying to best some record. Look at people in dry places, who can and
do walk (and even run at a pace of up to around 100 miles a day) without
drinking stations. Look at a reasonable example, not at athletes
performing at the limits of human endurance.

Pa> 2) The primary mechanism used by savannah animals to avoid predators is
Pa> speed. Early bipedal hominids, like modern humans, would be no match for
Pa> average lion, cheetah or hyena. Later hominids did move to the savannah
Pa> but they has brains and weapons to help them survive there.
Pa> Pat Dooley

The primary mechanism? Savannah animals use a suite of behaviors (not
"*A* mechanism"), such as looking, scent, hearing (depending on their
species' strengths in those areas) agility, climbing, digging, and
(for some) speed. So your statement is incorrect on the face of it.

But let's continue. First it must apparently be continually noted
that the fixation on a dry, treeless savannah you have is a notion of
Elaine Morgan's, and you follow it without any apparent sign of having
read human evolutionary theory from the past 20 or more years. But look
at chimpanzees in savannah environments; they do not have the sheer
speed of a lion, nor the sheer power. Yet they don't seem to have
much trouble there as far as predation from big cats.

In fact, predation by big cats is not much of a problem overall for
chimps, which might seem odd until you look at what you face when you
face a chimp. What you face is not just a chimp, but a group of chimps.
A group of strong, howling, stick and/or rock throwing gang of vicious
little hominoids. They kill baboons and leopard cubs (with
leopard-mommy present) with no more armament or natural ability than
australopithecines had. They are not defenseless out there, and
neither were australopithecines. (In fact, even lone chimps have been
seen sleeping overnight on the ground in areas frequented by leopards,
which further suggests that they don't have much trouble with such
predators. I mean, it's not like they were facing something that's both
hard to see and hard to deal with, like crocodiles or sharks.)

Jim Moore (

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